I've had composite white fillings on my two front teeth since grade school. In the early 80's, composite white fillings for tooth repairs were a new and progressive idea. They were offered as an alternative to caps which are now no longer universally used. I've always had tooth issues as I chipped my teeth when I was 7 or 8 doing something really stupid.
Blanket on head + roller skates + in grass + charging into metal tree support = something really stupid.
Before you rush off to get that Gary Busey chicklet smile, white composite material isn't what it's cracked up to be, pun intended. I've discovered it's $$ for white composite fillings and $$$$$ for veneers.
No one tells you that composite fillings chip off or break every 6 to 8 years. And they do. I had one just crack off my tooth from drinking water that was too cold. I drink my weight in coffee but have had to kiss iced drinks goodbye. Maybe the materials are different now. The cost certainly hasn't gone down.
I do know for a fact that composites cannot be whitened. If your composites are not over all of your teeth, you must pay to maintain a uniform color. Loosely translated, there are two options: Stay with normal tooth color for your composite fillings and never whiten, or pay to have all your teeth whitened and maintained. You can also whiten your teeth but you'll look like a reverse fluoride overdose with white teeth and darkened spots.
I chipped my tooth a few months back and have put off the dentist for a while with Mr Coffee out of town so much this summer. I bit the bullet and went into a recommended dentist to make my appointment. She asked for my insurance.
"This will be out of pocket," I cringed at the thought of the bill.
She smiled, "No problem, we do have financing available." She pushed a pamphlet toward me.
I took the glossy pamphlet albeit, reluctantly. Financing could only translate, 'bend over and grab your ankles'.
"Could you tell me what kind of cost I would be expecting? I can't write off a $500 check without some kind of warning." I giggled, hoping to sound less pathetically broke. I'm fairly certain it didn't work although, asking for what someone will charge you for a service is not unreasonable.
How often do you just load up your grocery cart and say to the checker, "Hey! Charge me whatever you feel like". Or perhaps slap your wallet down and tell the cashier, "Help yourself!"
My mechanic does estimates, why does the dentist, or any doctor for that matter, have to be difficult?
She looked at me and threw up her hands, "I couldn't tell you what kind of work they will do, but x-rays and consultation will be...um, tops? $115 dollars and then if you want to proceed with the work, they will tell you the cost at that time."
I gulped and looked down at the pamphlet. The dentist in the glossy picture smiled back. He looked younger than me. I'm sure he was quite capable although, I wanted to scissor-kick his perfectly white, straightened teeth.
What I didn't understand was that he wanted me to pay him $115 for something I could show him with an open mouth and an index finger. Then again, who is the smart one here? The patient who pays to have the doctor prod around in my mouth with a metal tool and say, "Don't put metal things in your mouth."
If the dentist needs an x-ray to see my chipped tooth, a front tooth at that, then he's pretty much a blind extortionist. Do I want to pay through the nose to have a blind dentist fixing my tooth? I have no other choice than to pay, because other dentists I checked with would do the same. Have you seen billy bob teeth?
Yeah, I don't think so.
For the second time in 10 years, next week I have an appointment to get my tooth fixed by Mr Young Blind Dentist, DMD. I'm also considering changing my college career path to dentistry. I won't have my sight but at least I can retire early.
~Bee currently does not have a Colgate smile.
Listening To: Fergalicious by Fergie